The Glorious Return of Worth a Click

Man, I haven’t done one of these since… MAY??? Wow. There were multiple reasons for it fading away — I’d originally envisioned Worth a Click as a weekly respite from longer posts on my busiest days, but being the verbose writer that I am, it never worked out that way. Ideally, it was supposed to be like Afrobella’s essence condensed — a random hodgepodge of the things I’m obsessed with, anchored by a beauty or hair related link and ending with a fun music video. But lack of focus = lack of comments = lack of interest on my part, and eventually I just tried doing multiple shorter posts instead. Haven’t been too successful there, either. But whatevs, I’m a chick with a lot to say and there’s nothing wrong with that, am I right?

In honor of my victory in the Black Weblog Awards (I am still so excited about that!!!) this will be an All-Star Worth a Click, featuring some of my friends in the black blogosphere who also won awards this year.

Kicking things off with one of my favorite blogs — Fly, with an adorable homage to bell hooks’ classic children’s book Happy to be Nappy. Fly’s author doesn’t have love for the word nappy, and I see where she’s coming from — the word has been turned into a weapon that’s often used in a negative, condemnatory manner. We’ve given the word a lot of power, in this post-Don Imus landscape. I personally don’t take umbrage with nappy, although I try to be careful how I use it. But I’m pretty damn happy to be nappy, I’m crazy about my curls, and I’m content with my kinks. My hair is so marvelously multitextured, sometimes I need lots of words to describe it. And sometimes, nappy’s the most accurate word. What say you, fellow afrobellas? Do you embrace or eschew “nappy”?

Racialicious has the scoop on the brewing VH1 controversy. And I read on Stereohyped that a VH1 boycott is already afoot. Quick question — Does that also go for VH1 Soul? I’m surprised it took leaked info about a rejected reality show that probably would have sucked anyway to get a boycott poppin’. But at the same time I have to out myself as a chronic VH1 watcher. Don’t get it twisted — I DON’T love New York or most of the trainwreck “look at me, I’m so wealthy” television they specialize in now. But… shamefully, I sorta sometimes watch Rock of Love (I turn off my brain and surrender to the ridiculousness sometimes, and yeah, I’m blushing in shame as I write this). Rich’s recaps are often funnier than the actual episodes. Rich is one of few bloggers who can literally make me LOL. And I need something to tide me over till Best Week Ever returns.
I just hope this current rash of bad publicity makes VH1 start offering some alternatives to the do-anything-for-fame-groupies-fawning-over-aging-celebrity formula they’ve lapsed into. I tell ya, from Flavor Flav to Scott Baio, I’m getting sick of all of it. It’s time for another Ego Trip racism series, VH1. And while you’re at it, put Patrice O’Neal back on Web Junk 2.0, because the show sucks without him. Thanks.

Attention makeup junkies — Stereohyped interviewed the one and only Sam Fine, and got a short list of his favorite makeup items! Which I will now proceed to purchase and review. Starting with that Black Opal Creme Stick Foundation. Since I ran out of my Iman stick foundation, I haven’t had a perfect match. I’m a big, big fan of Sam Fine’s artistry, so I’ll take all the tips I can get!

Spotted over at Crunk and Disorderly — the Read a Book BET cartoon debate has JUST hit CNN. Like, months and months after it hit the blogosphere. Yours truly mentioned it in July, and I was late to the party then. Winner of the judges vote for Blog of the Year, What About Our Daughters, has strong opinions on the popular viral video and BET as a whole. And a suggestion for those of us who are sick and tired of the stereotyping — no more cable. No more cable?! Huh? But… but… then I couldn’t watch the amazing shark documentary that I’m watching as I type this!

All jokes aside, What About Our Daughters is doing a great job of calling attention to the stories that are affecting that our community. The kind that mainstream media seems to be ignoring. She’s currently shining the spotlight on Dunbar Village, an impoverished black community in West Palm Beach that was the location of a truly horrific, blood curdling sexual assault. Read it and you might literally weep. Click here if you’d like to donate money to the victims.

Speaking of serious issues, Clutch has a great Jena 6 follow-up, which addresses the issues in donating to support their legal defense funds. And I got an e mail from a reader who suggests that we personally send cards and letters of support to

Mychael Bell, Inmate, A-Dorm

LaSalle Correctional Center

15976 Highway 165

Olla, LA

71465-4801.

The idea being, if Paris Hilton could have gotten truckloads of loving mail to comfort her during the lonely nights, Mychael deserves the same.

Trini Gourmet featured a recipe that took me back to my childhood days. My Auntie Opal used to give me fried eggplant for a snack after school sometimes, and it is sooooooooooo good. As timing would have it, eggplant is also the South Beach Diet’s fabulous fall food. So I’m gonna have to go eggplant shopping this weekend!

When I first spotted the new Jill Scott album cover over at the Best Humor Blog, the immediate thought that came to mind was, “Jill is playing with my emotions.” Straight hair. On Jill Scott. And the album’s called The Real Thing. Huh? Is this meant to be an ironic “I am Not My Hair” statement, or a leftover wig from her role in the upcoming Tyler Perry movie? Has she just switched it on us, straight up? Literally? She’s rocking the straight do in her new video for My Love — spotted over at new music blog Soulbounce, which I am sure will be up for Black Weblog Awards aplenty next year. But the big fab hair is in effect and I am LOVING it in the Hate on Me video. And she looks so fly in her AMAZING VH1 Soul live performance.

Jilly from Philly, I love you relaxed or natural. But you’ve been my hair heroine for a while now. It’s always a bit hard to let go of a fellow afrobella, but it’ll be extra hard to let you go.

Go ‘head and do your thing, you’re got a stan for life right here. Click here to pre-order The Real Thing, which hits stores September 25. And for the bella who wrote to me asking what kind of outfits I wear to work — Jill’s outfit is quite similar to my daily work look. Cute, comfortable top, sweaters or layers work because my office is like 55 degrees year round, jeans, and bangin’ accessories. And I totally just bought a pair of big, heavy “gold” hoops from Claire’s last week, too. Hoop earrings + big crazy afro fabulousness = instant style force to be reckoned with. I’ll do a big full figured fashion review next week, so hold tight!

Happy Friday to everyone, and special congratulations to all of my fellow Black Weblog Award nominees and winners!

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Comments

  1. Hey Bella,

    Thanks for letting us know about the videos. I instantly loved “Hate on Me” when I heard it on Michael Baisden’s radio show in July. I hadn’t heard “My Love” until now and it takes my breath away! About Jill’s straight look in the video…I’m thinking maybe this song might be on the movie soundtrack? Who knows? I love either way too! Also, about the fried eggplant…I grew up eating that too…I’m not Trini, I’m a Black Indian girl from southeastern VA, lol! Great post!!!

  2. Can’t really get with the whole boycott VH1 tirade because the white girls on Rock of Love are just as bad as the FOL girls. If we should be boycotting them on the basis of anything, it should be for SEXISM, not racism.

    R-E-A-D-A-B-O-OK! Sorry. Just had to throw that in there.

  3. Thanks Bella for the linkage love. Yes, give up cable, but only for 381 days. That is the length of the Montgomery bus boycott.

    If BET, VH1 or any other foolishness is part of your cable package, every month when you pay your cable bill, a portion of your money automatically goes to those networks.

    So the only way to boycott the channels is to cancel cable completely. Harsh, but true.

    BET only gets 20% of its revenue from advertisers so even if you get all the advertisers to pull out as we did with initial airing of Hot Ghetto Mess, they could still function off of the money you give them each month when you pay your cable bil.

  4. On the nappy thing, it’s not my favorite word in the world, but mostly because of all the negative ways it’s been used. I don’t hate it or anything, and I love, love bell hooks’ book. I read it to my little girls, and the illustrations are so fab. If you’ve ever had your hair washed and braided like these little girls, you can relate. I read it to my daughters so they can see it’s okay and actually quite cool to have REALLY big hair (Dolly ain’t got nuthin on us). I actually love the title, to me it helps you to embrace your texture and all the really wonderful things you can do with it. In my own day to day speech, however, I use the word kinky instead of nappy. I don’t have curls on my own head, they’re kinks, but I’m cool with that. On Jill, I too will miss her really big fro if she has left it behind. It always put me in mind of a a glorious nimbus of strength and pride surrounding that beautiful face. I love her music no matter what, though, like you. Hey, your new logo reminds me of Jill with her fro.

  5. BET: I don’t have cable. I don’t miss BET at all. Thanks for that revenue info Gina.

    Jill Scott’s cover:That is one of the great things about having natural hair, the versitility – if you want to press is out to do something different, you can. Just like people w/ straight hair break out the curling iron or curlers when they want to spice it up a bit. Just because you’re “natural” that doesn’t mean you have to have the same look day in and day out.

  6. Thanks so much for posting this video. I love Jill Scout. This song is going to be my theme song for the rest of the year!!

    Re: VH1, I did catch an episode of Rock Of Love. Where do they find these women who feel to need to be on T.V. so strongly that they do anything? Enough already.

  7. Hey Afrobella! Thanks for the SoulBounce.com linkage. I’m glad that you’re feeling the site that I’m a part of. :)

    As far as Jilly is concerned, she definitely has switched her style up, but it’s still the same old Jill. She could come out with a Remy Ma blonde-banged wig (God forbid) and she’d still sing rings around 98% of female artists out there. Although I would question her sanity.

    And I think I will be buying an eggplant this weekend. Man, that looks good! It doesn’t help that I haven’t eaten breakfast yet. LOL

    And congrats again on your Black Weblog Awards win!

  8. I don’t have curls either I have coils. But I pose a question to those who support the use of the word “nappy.” Would it have been okay if Don Imus just said “nappy headed girls.”

  9. I think it’s one of those words that if you choose to use it, it’s probably best if you’re black, to cut out all the fancy talk. I mean, like I said, it’s not my favorite word in the world, but you do hear it. I don’t think it’s on par with the n-word, before we go all there. I just think hearing a black person say nappy hair is not the same as hearing someone else say it, and whether or not that’s PC, it is the way I feel. And I think the point of bell hooks’ book is that, when you hear the word nappy applied to your hair as a little girl, don’t cry and be sad and ask God why like a lot of little girls did/do, to be frank. I think she wanted little girls to love their hair, and used a word that they hear to get them to relate to doing that.

  10. And no, it still wouldn’t have been okay if Don Imus only said that, because still the whole point of his comment wsa to degrade, hurt, and insult. It’s a loaded word, no doubt about it, which is why it’s not one of my favorites…

  11. You might want to check out Patrice’s new show at patriceoneal.com Some pretty crazy stuff.

  12. I will, Michael! I’m a fan, and not just because we have the same name.

    For me, the most offensive part of Don Imus’ insult was the word “ho.” Imus’ comment would still have been insulting just because that’s how he intended it. It was his goal to degrade the basketball players despite their talent and athletic capabilities. So I don’t think he’d have ever have called them “girls.” And I’ve been also called “nappy” as an insult by people. But I cosign with Bebroma – bell hooks’ book aims to take the sting out of the word and get little girls with natural hair to love themselves as they are. I’m doing a big ol’ post on children’s hair next week, so I’ll touch on this some more then.

  13. I have nappy, coily, curly hair and none of those words have a negative effect on me…. I jokingly tell my daughters to go and clean up their kitchen (ya’ll know what I mean, those lil’ kinky hairs on the back of your head LOL) and there is no offense taken, now if I was nasty about it, I would hurt their feelings…..as my mom would say “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it” if words are used with the intent to insult or demean others then don’t use them!…..in any event, Jill Scott’s “Hate on Me” is the shiz-nit! I played it like 6 times already….Rock on Jill! and Bella, have an enchanted weekend.

  14. Hey Bella,
    I wanted to know if there are any other books about natural black hair for older children (like age 10)? I’m having some issues w/my daughter about her hair..she wants a perm and I just don’t think she needs one (she is not happy at all). Help me out with more information, if you have any on hand. I was also very upset about the attack on the mother and son (Dunbar Village), it’s so sad that some people have no respect for others. My heart goes out to victims and I truly pray that justice is served..as far as I’m concerned they can lock their(the attackers) azz-up and throw away the key!!!!! I believe my bp is up (I’m so serious) after reading that…..let me keep it moving….I love Jill Scott and she has not disappointed me in the music department, since she hit the scene. She is toooo FLY! Bella, thanks for the post and have yourself a FAB weekend……..

  15. I agree. The word “nappy” can be a compliment or an insult, and more often than not it’s used as an insult. It may be up to us natural girls to take the word back and make it a positive rather than negative. Same thing goes for being called a “big girl” (or something similar) I don’t mind it unless you are trying to use it to cut me down. And if you are, clearly you have your own issues. Can’t wait for your full-figured fashion review! Have a good weekend!

  16. Hey StAr — There are two books you and your daughter might enjoy reading together. They’re picture books, but a 10-year-old might still enjoy reading them with you and you could discuss them. Anyway, check them out at the library and see what you think.

    One is Nappy Hair, by Carolivia Herron. That one deals with a little dark-skinned black girl with kinky hair, and she’s hearing negative stuff from some of her family at a gathering, and then one of her relatives — a man — gets righteous with it and explains why her hair is beautiful.

    The other one is I Love My Hair! by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley. That one tells a story all little black girls know, getting your hair combed out at night before bed, how it can hurt to get your hair combed, BUT that there are so many fantastic ways to style it natural.

    I loved the books and so did my kids. Their hair is not really kinky, but it is poofy and big, and when my oldest started school a few years ago, she wanted smooth hair that flapped up and down when she ran like some of the little white girls in her class. After we read these books, she felt much better, and actually liked how thick and big her hair can get when its not corralled in a braid or pigtails.

    I hope that helps!

  17. I’ve said this before on here, but I think if we choose to embrace the word nappy then we shouldn’t feel any type of way about embracing the words nigga or nigger. I think it’s the same concept. They are both words used to insult and degrade.

  18. I love TriniGourmet’s blog. The only food blog I read on a regular basis.

  19. Hey Ms. Bella,
    I’ve been lurking for awhile–love your blog! So much so, I’m tagging you for the 8Random Facts About Me meme!
    Check out mine here: http://artventuring.blogspot.com, then post your own. There’s got to be SOME facts we dedicated readers don’t know about you!
    Thanks for writing, thanks in advance for participating, and bigtime congrats on your Black Weblog Award!!!!

  20. I’m so for banning any kind of corporate run music. I hate VH1, I hate MTV. While it was always very middle class centric, it used to be cutting edge, but now it is just bad and horrible, doesn’t surprise me with the whole, “people like seeing black people ‘ghetto’” that’s pretty obvious….now on to the word nappy. I’m pro using the word nappy. That’s what my hair is. With Imus I wasn’t even angry about the nappy part, it was the “hoe” part and the way he was talking. He could have said pressed haired hoes, still would have sounded bad right? But I like nappy hair. Nappy sounds like a happy word. Maybe everyone who is black doesn’t have nappy hair, maybe it’s more curly or wavy or how europeans who have very curly hair, but that’s not my hair. My hair is nappy. It grows together. My hair dreads without me doing anything, it’s sort of spirally, but not really. I like nappy because that lets everyone know it means african-american girl hair. Not curly hair that’s something else. Nappy is the word that specifically describes us, now other people can call their hair nappy if they like, but if they do they are saying they have black girl hair, which is kind of cool. People often times want to run away from the “real deal” black women type stuff you know.—–

    If we want to embrace Africa, we embrace Egypt, but those people don’t look like us. They are beautiful and cool, but if you want to embrace Egyptians, might as well embrace China. I never understood that. Why not embrace Nigeria or Ghana or Kenya if you’re going to make up something, make up people who actually look like the way the average black person looks now.—

    Oh and for the record, never believed Jill Scot’s hair was real. Not taking anything away from the woman, but half of the time I think she wears “natural” hair pieces. Half of the women with “natural” hair have natural hair pieces. I mean it’s kind of like in the 1970s, my mom used to say she thought the American women had such great Afros and then when she moved out here she realized, hey those Afros aren’t even real. Obviously Pam Grier had a wig, but at the time I guess it seemed real. Same thing with Jill. I personally prefer the natural sister hair of Erykah Badu (not trying to compare the two, but for some reason you can’t help it, it seems like people are either Erykah people are Jill people), she doesn’t front like her hair is real when it’s not, but she does rock an awesome TWA or bald head.—-

    Browne

  21. Oh yeah, I’m Jane and Browne, my real name is Browne, but I always go by Jane as if it say I’m the every woman…which is kind of funny, because maybe I’m not, but that’s what I’m going for.

    Jane or Browne

  22. TheBeautifulOne says:

    Jane, I have curly hair, a big beautiful curly dome. Yes, dome, but according to you and what you wrote, that wouldn’t make me an African-American. Are you serious? Black people, like myself come in all colors and with different hair textures. This doesn’t make us less African American or you more African American than us. I embrace everybody because we all have the right, given by the Creator, to exist in this world as we are. Good night and I’m through.

  23. When did nappy become this weapon you speak of? I hear another n word (in both forms) and Don Imus saying nappy don’t hurt me, and it shouldn’t have been “offensive” to any other black people.

    Maybe I’m on the outside with that opinion, but I’ll be that.I just shaved my nappy hair the other day, and I wish I had more of a fro so I could walk around with even nappier hair.

    I’m more concerned with the state of black culture than some white guy who’s show I don’t watch or listen to saying “nappy headed hoes” Come on. Everone, say nappy. Weapon? Please.

    I am afraid of black on black crime, I am afraid of racism. I am afraid of being unfairly being taken advantage of. I am afraid of losing my constitutional rights, like the right to free speech. I don’t have time to be afraid of a guy making a joke of questionable taste who uses a word from outside his cultural background.

  24. TheBeautifulOne says:

    @ V.Smith
    Uh, I don’t say nappy and I’m black. It’s just an ugly word, just the sound of it is not at all appealing to me. I’ll say coarse hair, but nappy? nope. I don’t fear the same things as you, because I choose not to live in fear. Only I define who I am as a person. My mother and other great women and men in my family as well as realm of friends never focused on what was on our heads just what was in it. I love my Mom.

  25. Oh god…beautiful one. I said some black people don’t have nappy hair, but lots do, like most Asian people don’t have double eyelids, but if you do, doesn’t mean you’re not Asian. If you don’t have nappy hair, you can certainly still be 100% black and you are still entitled to all of the rights and service of being an African-American person, so if you think I meant that you shouldn’t get affirmative action or compliments on your big butt, I apologize….lol… (I’m sorry I’m sort of making a funny with you, I think your assertion is just ridiculous and you knew exatly what I meant beautifulone, I can’t believe you are trying to imply that I’m saying black women without nappy hair aren’t black, I am totally not saying that not even kind of.)

    There is a difference between curly and nappy hair. I have super rad and super beautiful nappy hair, it’s not curly hair. I hate the term curly hair for what is traditionally thought of as black chick hair. That curly hair crap doesn’t work for my hair, I used to buy into that curly hair stuff, but after going through 5 bottles of themasilk (in one wash) I woke the f*** up. Nothing is going to make my hair more manageable, it’s like me. The curly hair description makes it seem like something is wrong with having hair that is not curly or wavy or spirally. My hair is nappy. It’s comb-breaking hair. I liken it to the congo, no ones ever really gotten in there and claimed the inside, that’s my hair. My neck will break before my dreads do if God pulls me from this planet by my hair.
    Jane

  26. “I am afraid of black on black crime, I am afraid of racism. I am afraid of being unfairly being taken advantage of. I am afraid of losing my constitutional rights, like the right to free speech. I don’t have time to be afraid of a guy making a joke of questionable taste who uses a word from outside his cultural background.” V Smith….yeah, everything she said, see if I weren’t obnoxious I would have said something the way V did, but I am so….Jane

  27. LBellatrix says:

    I used to have a problem with “nappy”, but not anymore. Why? Because in SOME circles it’s simply the clearest way to describe my texture. In other circles, I’ll say “tightly coiled” or something similar.

    One of the many (I admit it) things that bug the hell out of me about my people is this simple fact: If Imus had used just the word “ho” I don’t think there would have been anywhere near the kind of uproar that there would have been if he hadn’t added “nappy-headed” to it. Because too many of us are STILL! in 2007! apologizing for having African features, when we SHOULDN’T. And yes, some of us have ALWAYS had a problem with the word “ho”!

    For the record, “nappy” doesn’t automatically equal “coarse.” Fine and coarse refer to strand diameter. I have fine hair that coils very tightly over most parts of my head (and sorta-kinda-kinks over other parts, and sorta-kinda-waves over other parts). You can have straight hair that’s coarse…ask the Japanese.

    Re VH1: I haven’t paid for cable in 4 years. I haven’t had cable in 2. Labor Day weekend at my parents’ was the last time I spent any significant time watching cable. So in a way I’ve BEEN boycotting VH1. (I do like “I Love the 70s” and “I Love the 80s”, though. And for the record, I’ve been boycotting BET for the last 12 years.)

  28. “Because too many of us are STILL! in 2007! apologizing for having African features, when we SHOULDN’T.” lbellatrix
    Amen. I think that’s the real problem with nappy, some black people think that nappy hair is “bad” hair. I don’t need a “polite” euphemism for my hair. My hair is not a bad word. My face is not a bad word. My nose is not a bad word. I am not a bad word. More importantly I don’t want little girls who look like me to think that its something wrong with being a little nappy headed brown girl. If nappy is a bad word and everyone thinks your hair is nappy (because you know your hair isn’t wavy or curly or anywhere near “good”) well then what does that mean if you’re a kid. That means you must be bad or not pretty. Now am I saying that people who don’t have nappy hair are not pretty or black, no I’m not. Just like I’m very sure that people who say big women are beautiful aren’t calling skinny women like myself ugly or are you? Should I bring up that I am beautiful and skinny and a size 4 every time people say big woman are beautiful or would that be too obviously obnoxious…lol…yeah so anyway you’re all freakin beautiful. Nappy, straight, black, asian, white, latina, jewish, black and white, big, little, bulimic… Jane

  29. TheBeautifulOne says:

    @Jane or Brown or whoever or whatever else you claim to be, YOU WROTE:
    ” I hate the term curly hair for what is traditionally thought of as black chick hair”
    “Black Chick hair”? Jane, Jane, Jane. Ha!!!

  30. Great post, Bella! Black Opal products are my favorite. For some reason, people are hesitant to give them a try, but I have been using that foundation stick for about 5 years now with no complaints. I will buy Black Opal before I buy MAC, or anything else. Their concealer is great too!

  31. “@Jane or Brown or whoever or whatever else you claim to be, YOU WROTE:
    ” I hate the term curly hair for what is traditionally thought of as black chick hair”
    “Black Chick hair”? Jane, Jane, Jane. Ha!!! BeautifulOne”
    Are you laughing with me or at me? I’m not sure what you’re adding there. I said you’re beautiful. Ok you’re beautiful and I’m saying it hopping on my right foot and I have a gin and tonic in my left hand. I promise not to tell mom about that thing….oh maybe the chick thing. Is chick offensive? Was that not ok? Pure African Womyn hair (pure is a mindset, I don’t want people with cherokee grandmas to think I don’t find them black) is that better…lol…Jane

  32. I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IS WHERE THE HELL IS LA RAZA AND ALL THOSE LATINO ACTIVISTS WHOM THE NAACP CANNOT STOP SUPPORTING THEIR CAUSES. IN OUR TIME OF NEED FOR SUPPORT THEY REMAIN CHARACTERISTICALLY SILENT OR AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO NOTICES THIS. (in reference to the Jena Six)

  33. I can’t remember the last time I saw something like that…bookmark ftw =)

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Trackbacks

  1. [...] Hi StAr! Good question. I just recently read an interesting article on relaxing the hair of young black girls, that might give you some ideas on how to respond the next time your daughter asks for a relaxer. StAr wrote in regarding my little Worth a Click post about bell hooks’ Happy to be Nappy. Being that I don’t have any little afrobellas of my own (yet), I didn’t have an immediate recommendation. I haven’t read a children’s book in years! [...]

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